Despite a 40-12 record, the Indiana Pacers went into the All-Star break grumbling about their poor play and the need to tighten up their team approach on the offensive end and return to the high-level of play they delivered to start the season.
The Pacers will try to ramp up that effort starting tonight when they host the Atlanta Hawks, a team in no mood to hear the Pacers whining about poor play. The Hawks were the best of the rest in the East for much of the season, but a series of ill-timed injuries have finally started taking their toll. The Hawks arrive at the Fieldhouse tonight in fifth place overall in the East after losing five consecutive games and seven of their last 10 games.
The Hawks usually present a matchup problem for the Pacers but without Al Horford and Pero Antic, the thin front-court depth for Atlanta gives the Pacers an advantage. The only injury issues surfacing for the Pacers is a right elbow injury Luis Scola is finally admitting to. The shooting arm has often been iced up after games but it appears Scola will have to continue working through the discomfort with no plans at this point to give it an extended rest.
Also, as you'll read in the links, Andrew Bynum took part in practice on Monday and is starting to show signs of adopting Frank Vogel's sunny disposition on playing hoops for the Pacers. Although, Vogel continues to deliver a cloudy forecast on just when we might see Bynum actually play for the Pacers.
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